A student in the University of South Florida Makecourse has created their own version of the Turret from Portal, based on an Arduino and complete with lasers activated by motion.

The core of the physical build is a milled wooden body onto which many 3D printed parts and panels were attached.

Looking at the electronics inside and they’re centred around an Arduino Uno connected to an ultrasonic sensor. When the sensor picks up movement it activates the array of servo motors.

One motor pops the gun arms out, another motor in each arm moves them left and right, and a final servo moves them up and down. Instead of firing bullets at the tracked target, mostly harmless lasers shoot out.

As part of the Makercourse, this project took 16 weeks to complete. If you want to have a try at making your own, a full guide is available on Instructables.

If you have experience with the tools and systems you may be able to complete it in much less time, as this was the student’s first attempt at using many of them. We think they did an amazing job regardless.

Just keep in mind some of the limitations in this version. The guide states that the targeting system is extremely limited due to the sensors used, narrowing its range down to a thin 30-degree arc directly in front of the Turret.

The guide suggests that a webcam system connected to a Raspberry Pi instead of an Arduino would work better.

Clinton has been a programmer, engineering student, project manager, asset controller and even a farrier. Now he handles the maker side of htxt.africa.